Bell Hammers

PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS. AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.

Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops of off the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.

Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.

Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:

“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”

:: PRAISE FOR LANCELOT SCHAUBERT AND BELL HAMMERS ::

“Schaubert recounts a mischievous man’s eight decades in Illinois’s Little Egypt region in his picaresque debut. Remmy’s life of constant schemes and pranks and a lifelong feud with classmate Jim Johnstone and the local oil drilling company proves consequential. This is a hoot.” 

— Publisher’s Weekly

“BELL HAMMERS is written in a style not unworthy of John Kennedy Toole and William Faulkner – the vivid characterization of Southern ethnography commingled with stark, episodic spectacle breathes with the spirit of quintessential Americana. It is a text I would happily assign in an American Novel class and would expect it to yield satisfying discourse alongside works in the canon, whether beside the sardonic prose of Mark Twain or the energetically painful narratives of Toni Morrison.”

— Dr. Anthony Cirilla

“Schaubert’s words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar and say, ‘Listen, this is important!’ Probing the bones and gristle of humanity, Lancelot’s subjects challenge, but also offer insights into redemption if only we will stop and pay attention.”

— Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

“Myth, regret, the lore of our heritage and the subtle displays of our castes — no one so accurately and imaginatively captures the joys and sorrows of life in the Midwest as Schaubert does here. BELL HAMMERS is a Tree Grows in Brooklyn as told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez if Marquez lived in rural Illinois and only told stories to his grandkids. Seriously a delight to read.”

— Colby Williams, author of the Axiom Gold Medal winning book Small Town, Big Money

“Loved BELL HAMMERS because Lancelot wrote about people who don’t get written about enough and he did it with humor, compassion, and heart.”

— Brian Slatterly, author of Lost Everything and editor of The New Haven Review

“I’m such a fan of Lancelot Schaubert’s work. His unique view and his life-wisdom enriches all he does. We’re lucky to count him among our contributors.”

— Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters and Editorial Director of Writer Unboxed


Meet Lancelot Schaubert

Two excerpts of Lancelot Schaubert’s (lanceschaubert.org) debut novel BELL HAMMERS sold to The New Haven Review ( Yale’s Institute Library ) and The Misty Review, while a third excerpt was selected as a finalist for the last Glimmer Train Fiction Open in history. He has also sold poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to TOR (MacMillan), The Anglican Theological Review, McSweeney’s, Poker Pro’s World Series Edition, The Poet’s Market, Writer’s Digest, and many similar markets.

Spark + Echo chose him for their 2019 artist in residency, commissioning him to write four short stories.

He has published work in anthologies like Author in Progress, Harry Potter for Nerds, and Of Gods and Globes — the last of which he edited and featured stories by Juliet Marillier (whose story was nominated for an Aurealis award), Anne Greenwood Brown, Dr. Anthony Cirilla, LJ Cohen, FC Shultz, and Emily Munro. His work Cold Brewed reinvented the photonovel for the digital age and caught the attention of the Missouri Tourism Board who commissioned him to write and direct a second photonovel, The Joplin Undercurrent, in partnership with award-winning photographer, Mark Neuenschwander.

He remains a committed husband to the grooviest girl on earth and is a public advocate for more free range trees. You know, Ents.

Life is Classical

The Rock and the Raindrop: A Space in Time

A raindrop has seen the rise and fall of civilizations and survived deserts of ice and sand. However, despite all of her adventures, this once-powerful lady has lost her way. That is, until a gust of wind—or perhaps a twist of fate—sends her face-to-face with a lowly rock. But what good could come from a conversation with a rock? Turns out, this is no ordinary rock. This particular rock watches the world around him evolve with a curious, near astonishing blend of precision, versatility and splendor, and he wonders about that. What hand lies behind such bewildering, unwavering might? When these diverse entities collide, sparks fly, and together they embark upon the path of discovery, unraveling mysteries neither would have thought possible.

In this lighthearted romp through a serious world, the rock and the raindrop combine their talents and explore the many ways—always subtle and often clever—God reveals Himself to us through nature. With the help of the surrounding forest, they unearth hidden mathematical and philosophical treasures, traces of the spiritual world working quietly behind the scenes. Replete with poetic charm, this delightful tale is an illuminating and thoughtful series of contemplations on the meaning of life, the power of faith, and the wondrous roads we travel in pursuit of the eternal adventure.